Funding Hack! This Biologist Named A Recently Discovered Gene “Physiological Relevance” And Immediately Got A Flood Of Grants

Letcher, S. et al

In an impressive show of innovative problem-solving, Dr. Steven Morris at the University of Madison recently started absolutely raking in the cash after he realized that he could use the term “physiological relevance” all the time – if that’s what the gene he studies is named!

The idea came after a 7-year research project led by Dr. Morris studying a pathway essential to understanding basic cell biology was halted indefinitely when one reviewer asked the killer question: “What’s the physiological relevance?” 

After Dr. Morris flubbed the questions, his funding quickly ran out after as the project was deemed “too boring to continue,” according to a source from the National Science Foundation.

The incident led Dr. Morris to do some soul-searching, and he reflects that “After years of scratching our heads, wondering what spin we can put on our research to make people care, we finally just said ‘Fuck it! Let’s get creative!’”

Now, Dr. Morris writes headlines first, and does the research second – his next project stemmed from the headline “Breakthrough discovery finds Paradigm Shift via new Cancer-Curing Pathway.” Chuckling, he tells reporters that “Paradigm Shift” was a new bacterial strain he found (and aptly named), and “Cancer-Curing Pathway” was simply what he wrote into his SOP as his new practice of sneezing directly onto cultures and not wearing PPE. 

The lab’s new direction has been met with mixed reviews. While the National Science Foundation announced “The Morris Laboratory is doing groundbreaking work – with pizazz!”, an exasperated technician told reporters that “he genuinely used to care about making the world a better place. It’s disheartening to see [Dr. Morris] stretched to the point of nicknaming our equipment ‘High Impact Factor’ just to work the phrase into conversations with department donors.”

Dr. Morris is currently under investigation after listing that he has an R01 grant on his tenure application. His son, R01 Morris, – “It’s Rick,” he was overheard insisting while Dr. Morris countered “tell that to your birth certificate, young man!!” – was unavailable for further comment.

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